By David M. Greenwald
Davis, CA – The results are still trickling in, but nothing has changed since the first returns on Election Night. As of late afternoon on Tuesday, Bapu Vaitla’s lead over Dan Carson is just over 1500 votes.
In District 4, Gloria Partida held a 1300 vote lead with 62.4 percent of the vote. Vaitla’s percentage is now just under 60 percent while Carson’s is just under 27 percent.
Carson formally conceded on Tuesday morning.
“Today I spoke with Bapu Vaitla to congratulate him on his victory in the City Council District 1 race and to wish him well in his upcoming term on the city council,” he said.
Carson called Davis “an amazing place” and said, “it has been an honor to serve as your councilmember. I am proud of what my council colleagues and I have achieved during the past four years. Our successes would not have been possible without the active engagement and involvement of our community.”
He added, “I am also thankful for the many community leaders who supported and assisted my campaign in so many ways. I look forward to devoting more time to my family after I complete my service to the City of Davis next month.”
Carson became just the fourth sitting councilmember this century to be defeated in a reelection attempt. With Lucas Frerichs stepping down at the end of the year to take over as County Supervisor, the council will have another vacancy and an appointment followed by a special election coming up.
Vaitla has not put out a formal statement, but following the election, he told the Vanguard that the campaign especially highlighted issues surrounding affordable housing and climate.
He said, “What we kept hearing again and again, and I think the culture in Davis around affordable housing has changed. People’s kids who grew up here can’t afford to move back and rent, let alone buy.
Vaitla noted, “As the number of homeless goes up on the streets, as we see how many low income units we’re obligated to build that we haven’t made any progress on. I think it’s just people start being open to how do we build affordable, dense housing.”
He said, “So we heard that a lot. Just kind of this new openness to what do we do about sensible housing.”
At the same time people are feeling the issue of climate change with greater urgency.
“On climate, people are feeling that we’re truly in this period of emergency and wanting Davis to be a leader in carbon negativity, not even just carbon neutrality.”
Meanwhile, Partida, despite some moments during the election, ended up easily reelected to a second term.